MR Neurography: Normative Values in Correlation to Demographic Determinants in Children and Adolescents

  • Barbara Hofstadler
  • Philipp Bäumer
  • Daniel Schwarz
  • Moritz Kronlage
  • Sabine Heiland
  • Martin Bendszus
  • Tim GodelEmail author
Original Article



To determine normative morphological and functional magnetic resonance (MR) neurography values in children and adolescents in correlation to demographic determinants.


In this study 29 healthy underage subjects (mean age 13.9 years, range 10–17 years) were examined using a standardized MR neurography protocol of the lumbosacral plexus and the right lower extremity at 3 T. Volumes of the dorsal root ganglia L3–S2, cross-sectional area of the sciatic and tibial nerves, as well as T2-weighted contrast nerve-muscle ratio and quantitative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) values of the sciatic nerve were obtained and correlated with the demographic parameters sex, age, height and weight.


While all obtained morphological and functional MR neurography values did not differ between male and female sex, dorsal root ganglia volume, sciatic and tibial nerve cross-sectional area correlated positively with age, height, and weight. The T2-weighted signal of the sciatic nerve was independent of demographic determinants. Negative correlation was found for fractional anisotropy (FA) with age, height, and weight, whereas radial diffusivity (RD) showed a positive correlation only with age. Mean diffusivity (MD) and axial diffusivity (AD) revealed no correlation with demographic determinants.


The results of this study suggest that selection of sex-matched controls for further studies assessing peripheral nerve pathologies in underage patients may not be necessary; however, control subjects should be adapted to age, height, and weight of the patient population, especially if assessing dorsal root ganglia volume, nerve cross-sectional area and DTI.


Magnetic resonance neurography Dorsal root ganglia Peripheral nerves Demographic determinants Underage normative values 



We thank all subjects for their valuable cooperation in this study. T.G. is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg and received a research grant from Amicus Therapeutics. M.B. received grants from the German Research Council (SFB 1158). S.H. was supported by a grant from the German Research Council (SFB 1118).


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of interest

B. Hofstadler, P. Bäumer, D. Schwarz, M. Kronlage, S. Heiland, M. Bendszus and T. Godel declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Hofstadler
    • 1
  • Philipp Bäumer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Schwarz
    • 1
  • Moritz Kronlage
    • 1
  • Sabine Heiland
    • 1
  • Martin Bendszus
    • 1
  • Tim Godel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neuroradiology, Neurological University ClinicHeidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Center for Radiology dia.logAltöttingGermany

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